Travel Nurse Roadtrip Planning: How to make it safe and fun!

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By The Gypsy Nurse

August 8, 2018

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Step #16: Prepare Your Vehicle for Your Travel Nurse Road Trip

Driving to your next contract? These tips will make your travel nurse road trip planning go smooth and easy.

Travel nursing with a car is a great way to have access to a wide array of places to explore on your days off. Driving your car across the country might seem daunting, but it is usually worth it to have your own vehicle available if you want it!

Travel Nurse Road Trip Planning

Pre-trip Inspection

Make an appointment with your local auto mechanic or garage and have your vehicle checked over, and complete any routine maintenance.  Let them know that you are heading out for a long-distance trip and want to make certain that any potential maintenance issues are addressed.  If you are close to an oil change, get it done.  Have all of your belts, fluids, etc., checked out.  Being stranded in the middle of nowhere in Texas isn’t a fun place to be when one of your belts breaks. Finding a place that you can trust to perform routine maintenance can be difficult as well as time-consuming once you reach your contract location.  It’s much easier to have this done at home before you leave.

Roadside Emergency Kit

If you don’t already have one of these, you should consider putting one together before you leave.  You can purchase these pre-made, or you can put together your own while you are planning your travel nursing road trip.  If you already have one, check through it and make sure that everything you need is still in it and in working order.

Basic items for your Emergency Kit should include:

  • Water
  • Non-perishable food
  • Flashlight with batteries
  • Reflective poncho
  • First Aid Kit
  • Blanket, coat, hat, gloves
  • Tool kit
  • Road flares
  • Spare tire and a working jack
  • Jumper cables
  • Towels/Window cleaner
  • AAA Card with VIN number
  • Ice Scraper

If you don’t have some sort of roadside assistance or AAA, travel nursing with a car is much less stressful with these kinds of resources. Without friends or family nearby, it’s great to have a service like AAA that can help out in case something crazy happens, like an unexpected flat tire in the middle of nowhere.

Travel nurse road trip planning should also include any items you may need while in the car for a few days. If your travel nurse assignment is far away, you will want to have some daily necessities on hand so you aren’t constantly stopping.

Travel Nursing Road Trip Necessities:

  • Cell Phone with charger
  • Registration/License/Insurance
  • Credit cards
  • Eye Glasses/Sun Glasses
  • Moist Towelettes
  • Meds including Maalox or Imodium in case of upset stomach
  • Pen and paper
  • Comfortable/Loose Travel clothes
  • Grab and go bag for hotel stops
  • Recruiter phone number
  • Contact numbers for landlord
  • Camera to document your trip
  • Snacks
  • Cooler with drinks/perishable food items

Travel Nurse Road Trip Planning with Pets

If you are traveling with a cat or dog, check out these tips for driving long distances here. Pack your vehicle so that all of your pet’s items are accessible for those short stops to enjoy the view. Keep in mind that pets also need to stretch their legs, so plan accordingly for long drives!

Is there something we didn’t address that you always make certain to have with you for a road trip?  What are your thoughts on the list/suggestions above?

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